Redcar steelworks demolished in controlled explosion

The Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) plant in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, part of the SSI Redcar steelworks, has been demolished in a controlled explosion carried out by specialist contractor Thompsons of Prudhoe.

The Redcar steelworks site The site has been out of operation since 2015. (Photo: Thompsons of Prudhoe)

The site, which is located in the coastal town of Redcar, had been in operation for nearly a century but closed in 2015 after the sites owner Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK (SSI) wound up operations.

1.6 t of explosives were used on the project, with the Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, pressing the button on Saturday 1 October.

The demolition of the 65-metre-tall (213 ft) structure is thought to be one of the biggest explosive demolitions to ever be carried out in the UK, according to the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The project is part of the South Tees Development Corporation’s (STDC) plan to deliver area-wide economic regeneration in the South Tees area.

The sister company to the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the STDC aims to redevelop the 4,500-acre (18.2 sq km) site into a state-of-the-art manufacturing space for the offshore wind sector with a new 1 km-long quay to be constructed along with storage and handling facilities. 

To date, a number of buildings at Redcar have been demolished in preparation for future redevelopment.

In August, demolition works were carried out on the Sinter Plant that formed part of the former steelworks site.

Once finished, it is estimated that 20,000 jobs will be created in the area and bring in £1 billion (US$1.37 billion) to the local economy annually.

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